This year has been spectacular when it came to books. I am on my way to complete the 50 books challenge this year. Bear with me for the post is long but the below are those good reads which I absolutely relished reading. They have made me wonder,ponder and sometimes even teary-eyed.
- Einstein’s Dreams: My first reaction after putting down the book was wonder and amazement. We have all know Einstein to be brilliant scientist but ever knew him as dreamer? The book is a compilation by Alan Lightman of Einstien’s dreams during the time he was shaping up his Theory of Relativity. There are various worlds in Einstein’s dreams. One where time is circular where people repeat every action. The present turns to past and becomes future yet again. Another in which time is quality rather than quantity. Yet in another world a lifetime lasts only a day. The entire process of born,growing up,falling in love and aging happens in a span of a day (WOW). Then there is a world where time stands still and humans do not die.It makes me think if we were immortal would we value everything and everyone the same as we do now? All in all a magical book.
- Animal Farm: I can’t believe I never picked this book despite having it forever.I always thought it was a children’s book on animals.How mistaken I was! A simple yet powerful satire against communist philosophy. George Owell depicts the thirst for power, politics,fall of democracy and after effects of power on common animals who hope for better future, all described within 102 pages. I adore simple easy reads which simultaneously puts across a revolutionary message. Easy reading is hard writing has been truer than ever.
3. Charlotte’s Web: I have come to love children’s books this year. One of the most touching stories on friendships and offers so much to adults. Charlotte’s loyalty,Wilbur’s innocence and their friendship got me all teary eyed. I cried buckets reading this than when watching any movie.A magical tale and must read for all.
4. What I Talk About When I Talk About Running: Coming from my favorite author this one is hugely inspirational. His books always makes me feel like I am on an emotional roller coaster ride and this one is no different.He weaves writing and running so beautifully that it feels both belong together. His honest and soulful memoir is a brilliant for both runner and non-runners. For someone who is so incredibly talented his humble confession that he’s an average guy with average talent is immensely inspiring and I love him a little more now.
5. Jaya : An intriguing tale of family saga for throne and power told in the most engrossing yet simple narrative style. The stories give birth to many more stories,plots inside plots,the eternal rule of karma always getting back for your actions and finally Dharma being re-established overthrowing the law of jungle.I agree when Mahabharata is quoted as one of the greatest epic ever for it spans across various genres like politics,love,religion,spirituality,human psychology and many more with equal brilliance.
6. Fountainhead : Yet another book which I regret reading late. I kept delaying this book owing to the sheer volume and the fear of it being not as good as people make it look. A brilliant tale of Howard Roark (ideal man) , Peter Keating (fake/copycat), Dominique (love) who tries to protect Howard by attempting to destroying him, Gail Wynand (almost ideal) and the monstrous Ellsworth Toohey who manipulates everyone around him.In a world where everyone tells you to compromise and expect you to live the way everybody lives,Howard Roark is a powerful voice for individualism. An intriguing tale which needs more than one read to understand and grasp completely.I dream to read this book on a beach all alone and contemplate in solitude in near future.
7. Brushing Up The Years: A Cartoonist’s History Of India, 1947 2004: R.K Laxman captures the changing political dynamics of India through the common man being a mute spectator from the time of independence up until a couple of years back. You will laugh at the witty remarks, feel sad over the state of common man and then brood over the state of affairs in the country.
8. Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead: The TED talk led me to read this book. It garnered a lot of attention and has mixed reviews.We women have been hearing on how we cannot have a successful career and a fulfilling happy marriage. We are always warned that one comes at the expense of other. Sheryl accounts her own career and the challenges she faced. What I liked most about the book was the authentic tone and Sheryl is right in stating that men also must lean in to encourage and mentor ambition in a woman be it your mother,wife/girlfriend,friend,colleague or daughter. Just like behind every successful man there is a woman, behind every successful woman there is a strong proud man.
9. The Importance of Being Earnest:This light-hearted comedy is a must read for anyone who loves sarcasm! A humorous play mocking the society and its ways. Though written ages ago the relevance is the same as ever. I guess some things(society) don’t change with time!!
10. Yuganta: This book is a collection of essays where the author analyses Mahabharata characters by stripping them of their magical power. The analysis on Bhishma,Karna,Kunti were quite an eye opener.I agree when the author points out that Draupadi was not the sole cause for the war which has been stated innumerable times. An interesting read which goes against the conventional perspective we have on the great characters from Mahabharata.
11. 7 Secrets From Hindu Calendar Art: The gods which you were familiar with seem very different and you begin to realise the hidden meanings and symbols in them.A descriptive and informative book on Hindhu calendars which will make you take a second look at all the religious calendars henceforth. The perspectives and stories woven along with the beautiful colourful sketches give an educational view on Hindhu philosophy.A good read for one interested in mythology.
I will add more books to the list as and when I come across. Till then Keep Calm and Read On.